Building a barn home is exciting yet can be daunting. Here are five things you should know before you begin the process to make life easier.
1. Post and Beam Frame: Important Factors
First, the quality and structural integrity of the wood. YBH uses the finest quality kiln-dried Douglas fir Select Structural or #1 grade wood for structural integrity and durability. We don’t use green or unseasoned timbers and we only source from members of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
Second, the method used to make the frame connections. The post-and-beam half-lap joinery system is over 1,000 years old and is known for great strength and ease as well as cost-efficiency of fabrication and assembly. Because of these simpler connections, a Yankee Barn frame can be assembled by a general carpentry crew without the need for a specialized joinery crew. When completed, the half-lap joints are a more attractive look with clean, simple lines and significantly less labor than mortise-and-tenon joinery. This saves time and money, and makes for a more attractive home.
2. True Panels ™ vs. SIP
The core of our True Panel™ system is traditional dimensional lumber construction. SIPs (Structural Insulated Panel) consist of foam insulation sandwiched between sheathing (most commonly 1/2” Oriented Strand Board, a.k.a. “Chip Board”), typically adhered with glue. The layers of the sandwich, if not manufactured correctly, may cause issues with panel delamination. Improperly installed, vented or flashed SIP panels can lead to moisture accumulation and rot in the SIP panel skin. Over time this can lead to panel structural failure.
Yankee Barn Homes True Wall™ Panels are a REAL 2×6 framed wall, constructed in our factory using only the highest quality materials: 2×6 studs at 16” on center, polyisocyanurate insulation with spray foam between each stud bay, pre-installed Low E or better windows (your choice of manufacturers including Andersen® or Marvin®), installed using Dupont Flashing Systems and Flex Wrap, insulated headers, and ZIP sheathing. Each panel is built with a lifting loop and panel joint for quick and easy assembly on site.
Yankee Barn Homes’ True Roof™ system is the only panelized roof with a built-in vent. Roof panels are constructed using 2×8 or larger framing fastened with nails rather than with a chemical bond or adhesive to maintain structural integrity. Criss-crossing layers of polyisocyanurate insulation reduces thermal breaks and heat loss. Built into the panel design is a full width roof vent space to assure a cold roof deck, as required by many shingle manufacturers’ warranties, also helps to minimize ice dams and prolongs the shingle life. The panel joint is designed for a very low risk for panel gap and retards moisture migration from the living areas from infiltrating the roof. Combined, Yankee Barn Homes True Wall™ and Roof™ Panels, starting with R Values of 26.2 and 55 respectively, combine to create a weather tight “building envelope”. This efficient barn home system is produced with less than 0.5% waste and assembles quickly.
3. Insulation – Polyiso…what?
Polyisocyanurate insulation is the most thermally efficient rigid board insulation available in the marketplace and provides the highest R Value per inch of thickness. “Polyiso” is much better for the environment than polystyrene, the common alternative.
Polystyrene contains a particular type of hydro fluorocarbon that is 1,430 times a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. It would take 65 years of greenhouse gases saved by this insulation to off-set the damage this hydro fluorocarbon does. Polyiso is an ideal choice for green building design, offering reduced fossil fuel consumption, highest thermal efficiency, zero ozone depletion potential, zero global warming potential, and uses recycled content.
4. Design: What are my limitations?
Thanks to our True Panel™ system, your design is as flexible as that of any custom-building method, but combined with the beauty of a post and beam barn home. We have sample floor plans available but most of our homes are custom designed by the in-house design staff based on your wants, needs and budget, while considering your site, solar gains and slope of the land. The design fee is included with your Yankee Barn Home – no need for an architect unless you prefer to work with one. We take pride in collaboratively designing your home with you; working as a team with your builder to ensure the best overall experience.
5. Experience: How much does it matter?
Experience matters as much as the life of your home does. The investment in your home and the quality of the construction is paramount to the success of your experience as well as the enjoyment and performance of your home for years to come. Yankee Barn Homes brings you forty-seven years of experience as an industry leader and presents a staff of professionals with over 150 years of combined experience in the post and beam field. We’re here to provide the advice you need and the peace of mind you deserve.